Prediction: sign up with monthly subscription fee

by bohm 12 Replies latest jw friends

  • bohm

    The wtbs is changing media from print to online. If we look at other companies doing the same the obvious buissness model is subscription with a monthly fee people can choose themselves. The wtbs can continue to offer everything for free, however subscribers might earn a button for social media or somesuch ("wtbs donor").

    this would Secure a stable and significant revenue stream and would not violate the no tithing part since it was voluntary and not done at meetings. Furthermore all jw who subscribe to online mags or services could be guilted into suscribing to the most important website in the world.

    Anyone else think this might happend soon?

  • blondie
    Not unless the tax laws in the US change from what they were in 1990 regarding charging money for religious material...which led to the dropping of charging for subscriptions, magazines, books, food, parking tickets, etc
  • bohm
    Blondie: but does those laws cover monthly donations (all content is still offered for free)
  • blondie
    And if you don't donate, do they still offer the same service or publication?
  • WTS Archive
    WTS Archive

    They don't need to put up a mandatory subscription fee. All that they need is to expand the coverage of "Donate" button that is already present on the website to other countries, and the sheep will chip in voluntarily.

  • bohm
    Blondie: yes, but nevermind it seems like they have implemented it allready! I am a bit surpriced it is not pushed harder
  • tim3l0rd
    Recently I was told by an elder that if you're donating online you need to inform the elders so they can explain to the CO why contributions are low in the KH boxes. I just shook my head.
  • JeffT

    At the time they went to the donation arrangement, I thought they were making a big mistake. The advantage they had, and gave away, was that the R&F paid for the mags up front. What they did with them (place them for free, place them for cost, pile them up in the closet) didn't matter to the WTBS. They would have been money ahead to pay the taxes and be done with it.

    I think part of the decision was that they didn't think the locals could handle figuring out all the taxes. A subscription service maintained at HQ would be relatively easy to administer, as all the money would come into one place and the staff their could handle it.

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim
    Perhaps making the ''Donate'' button a little larger in the shape of a box and making it a bright red colour. That way it would stick out more and stand out from the boring blue and white of the page.
  • Athanasius

    Hi Jeff,

    For 25 years I was the controller of a California corporation that owned a chain of bookstores. Every month I had to fill out the State sales tax report and pay California the sales tax due. The report called for total gross sales plus a breakout of the types of sales (Taxable, and non-taxable), location of sales, etc.

    The Watchtower likes to keep it's financial data secret. But if they were required to pay sales taxes, they would have to report their book and magazine sales to the different States, provinces, and localities. There would be a public record of that Watchtower was making money off the sale of their publications, something the JW leaders don't want the public or the membership to know.

    You are right that the Watchtower would have been wiser to have kept the fixed price for their publications and paid the sales tax like any legitimate business. Something the Watchtower is not. So to keep their financials a secret they bit the bullet and lost money.

    I should mention that the prices the Watchtower was charging the JWs for their books and magazines prior to 1990, was what a for-profit printer that used union labor, would charge a secular book publisher for similar items. Plus the Watchtower had a captive audience for their publications. A secular publisher takes a risk with publishing a book. Not all books published become best sellers and many lose money.

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